My Liberation Notes reveals even more layers as the pace slows down a little to allow more focus on Mr. Gu’s past, which seems to have finally caught up with him.
This recap of My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 9 contains spoilers.
My Liberation Notes pumps the brakes and slows down a little in its ninth episode, not that it was exactly rocketing along anyway, but that’s no bad thing. The focus turns to Mr. Gu’s past, and the guilt he’s harboring, while the other characters continue to develop nicely. The show continues to reveal new layers and carefully develop its drama.
My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 9 recap
Mi-jeong, for instance, continues to come out of her shell, while Chang-hee begins to interrogate his hatred for A-reum, wondering if it’s rooted in class resentment – this is an introspective angle to take, examining our feelings and prejudices from the inside looking out.
But the main focus is on Mr. Gu, who is approached by Sam-sik, who berates an apparently “remorseless” Gu. He talks with Mi-jeong about an ill-chosen analogy leading to an unfortunate death. But you can see Gu beginning to drift away. He tells Mi-jeong to stop worshipping him and starts drinking again. He becomes paranoid.
This is all well-handled, I’d say, and feels like a natural extension of the clues to Mr. Gu’s backstory that we’ve already been drip-fed. A flashback reveals how Mi-jeong inadvertently spared Gu a beating from thugs, and how that informs Gu’s feelings for her, but the overall feeling is of the past very much having caught up here.
I like this angle. My Liberation Notes has taken such a patient approach to its drama in allowing us to really get to know these characters, their anxieties, their hopes and dreams across several weeks and episodes. Very few shows can do that, because very few shows have enough confidence in their script and cast. It means that things have taken slightly longer to get where they’re going, but also that we’re more invested in its journey than we otherwise would be. It won’t generate the kind of buzzy mainstream attention as some k-dramas are able to with their instant meme-ability and binge-ready structure, but those in the market for a careful, contemplative drama shouldn’t be complacent with this one.
You can stream My Liberation Notes season 1, episode 9 exclusively on Netflix.